So, you wanna be a writer? Short Writing Prompt.

Short Writing Prompt.

Character.

Look at the picture below. What an amazing face this man has. I’m fascinated by faces and the stories that are written in the very fabric of them.

man wearing blue hurley shirt
Photo by Thgusstavo Santana on Pexels.com

So, using this face as a story prompt, think about who this man is. What’s his name? How old is he? Where does he live? What does he want from life? What makes him sad? What makes him angry? What family does he have? What flaws does he have? How does he walk? How does he talk?

Really think about his character. Give him a biography. You could use this free printable Character Guide and fill in all of the boxes to give this man a background.

Now, once your character is fully formed in your head, write a 1000 word story in any genre you want.

Good luck!

What did you come up with? I would love to hear!

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So, you wanna be a writer? Character Development

Character Development

Sometimes, a story can come from one idea, a what if? That’s how my Bones, Ashes and Dust Trilogy began; one simple what if? What if the Angel of Death sent to collect a soul decided to save it instead? But sometimes, it’s a character that comes alive and kicking and screaming – if not fully formed – from your imagination.

This is what happened with Dragon Rider. This is Willow Ravenwood:

Willow

Willow is a witch, a street kid and a bit of rebel. This character was supposed to be at the centre of the novel I was writing but, in the end, the story took over and the novel became about someone and something else. This can happen and I will probably talk about that in later posts.

So, before all that happened, I knew I wanted to write a fantasy novel, set in England, in the future, in a world where Faeries have taken over and have become the dominant species. I also knew I wanted to have a strong central female character. I don’t know how it happened, but as I was ruminating about this scenario in my mind, this character, Willow, pretty much formed in my head.

My first job was to draw her. This helps as a reference when you’re writing. I often forget what colour eyes my characters have, or where their tattoos are and a drawing is a good reference point. My drawing is quite crude but helped me to visualise Willow quite well. If you can’t draw, go through magazines and find a person that fits what you’re looking for. Cut the person out and use that as your template. I did this with most of my characters in the Bones, Ashes and Dust Trilogy, even researching what clothes my character would most likely wear and when. This was especially fun with my main character because she was an EMO and I loved looking at the fashion and picking outfits.

Next, I usually fill out a character profile. This answers questions such as; name, address, age, the birthday of each character as well as their favourite things to do, favourite food, their favourite books and all of that kind of thing. Most of this won’t get used but it’s important to know because it informs your writing as you’re doing it. It’s kinda stored in your memory and helps you get to know your character.

So, I’ve included a free printout of a basic character profile with this post. It won’t fit every character or genre but it is a good starting point from which you can add and take things away from the list. What I want you to do, is, either draw a character or find a person in a magazine and cut them out. I want you to begin making them an outline by printing out the basic profile and filling it in, giving them a name, an age, an occupation or a school that they go to. I want you to give them favourite books, a favourite movie and I want you to turn them into a living, breathing character. What do they want?  What are their fears? What gets them going? What do they get out bed for?

Have a play. A great character may just appear and surprise you! Maybe it might even produce a great idea for a story! Have a go at building a character and have some fun!

Character Guide in word

Character Guide in PDF

Short Writing Prompt

Time for another short writing prompt. This time it’s a picture:

red and white lighthouse on land
Photo by Tom Swinnen on Pexels.com

Okay, so here comes part one of the writing prompt:

Part One:

Write a six-word story to accompany the above image.

Part Two:

Pick a number one to ten, then look below in the list to see what genre it corresponds to. Write a five-hundred-word story relating to the picture within that genre!

  1. Horror
  2.  Romance
  3. Sci-fi
  4. Crime
  5. Western
  6. Fantasy
  7. Fairy Tale
  8. Dystopian
  9. Action Adventure
  10. Comedy

Part Three:

Write another five-hundred-word story in any of the above genres using the first picture as a start point but include this teapot in the story:

clear glass teapot
Photo by Kristina Paukshtite on Pexels.com

Good Luck!!

A Short Writing Prompt

Sometimes it’s good to get out of your comfort zone and try something new. This prompt is so random that it’s great for getting your creative juices going!

So, take a book, any book, fiction or non-fiction, and turn to page thirty-eight. Go to the fourth line and write down the first full line of text you come to. This is your springboard into your next piece of writing. Either use it as the starting point of your story (the inspiration) or split it up and use the words in different parts of your text.

For example, the book next to me is Robert Galbraith’s Lethal White. The fourth line on page thirty-eight is:

“They discussed money for five minutes.”

As Lethal White is crime fiction I would probably try and change the genre too. So, maybe I would try and think of a story that’s a comedy, or maybe a fantasy.

Please note though, the book you’re using was written by someone else and it’s their intellectual property so no plagiarising or copying guys! You’re using it only as a prompt.

What have you come up with?

 

So, you want to be a writer? A writing Prompt.

The best thing to do when you first start out writing is to write.

Simple right?

Ha! If only. As Ernest Hemmingway said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

I don’t want you to bleed. Really, no I don’t. I hate blood (insert puking emoji here).

Anyway, because sometimes finding inspiration is hard in the beginning I’m giving you a short prompt that you can finish. Grab a pen, a notebook, or your laptop and try to finish this story:

My grandfather was a pilot in the war and he was trained in emergency landings. Apparently, in times of trouble, “you should pick a nice spot to land, but don’t get too picky, you probably won’t have the luxury of time.”

He always said to me as I was growing up that this had proved most useful advice, and that he had applied this logic to most things in his life; his job once he was de-mobbed, his house and, unfortunately, for Gran, his choice of wife. That’s not to say he didn’t love her. In fact, he came to worship the ground she walked on and even had her name, Flo, tattooed on his right buttock (don’t ask, that was one story he wouldn’t confide in me) but, as he used to tell me as we sat in the garden as he was preparing the blood mix for his prize roses, sometimes, you’ve just got to make a decision and not think about things. Apparently, it had served him well over the years.

Not that it was the same for Gran. Let’s not think she’s a victim here. She told me, and, often him to his face that, “she couldn’t bloody stand the man.”

It occurred to me the other day….

 

Must just give a shout out to my writing mentor, David Calcutt. This was inspired by a writing workshop I attended where we had to find a book and use a quote from it to inspire us.

The quote was, “Pick a nice spot to land, but don’t get too picky, you probably won’t have the luxury of time.” Taken from The Indiana Jones Handbook – The Complete Adventurer’s Guide (by Kiernan, D., and D’Agnese, J., Quirk Books, 2008).